Can "Crossing the Water" be considered a Gothic poem?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Yes. Gothic literature is a genre that focuses on death, darkness, terror and chaos. Generally, the genre glorified these things to find meaning in the irrational rather than the rational. "Crossing the Water" certainly provides these Gothic elements with the repetition of the words "black" and the parallels made between things that should be happy symbols (i.e., flowers, fish) and making them skewed and dark. Other words and phrases in the poem that seem to bring out themes of loneliness and death are: "silence," "expressionless sirens," and "flat and full of dark advice." The images are visually dark and physically chilling--all of which are definitely elements of all things Gothic. Most of Sylvia Plath's poetry is very dark and dreary due to the fact that she suffered greatly from her father's death at a young age and that she was greatly afflicted with thoughts of suicide.

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